Closure of Portobello Plaza to be reviewed next week

A group of activists gathered today at the plaza to protest against the closure.
Closure of Portobello Plaza to be reviewed next week

Portobello Plaza in Dublin today, which has been shut and fenced off by Dublin City Council. Picture: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Dublin City Council said it will review the closure of Portobello Plaza in Dublin on Monday.

It shut the park this morning for the weekend due to antisocial behaviour, with up to one-thousand people gathering in the area recently.

The decision follows consultation with local residents, gardaí and public representatives.

City manager Owen Keegan says there were problems with noise, "urination and defecation".

A group of activists gathered today at the plaza to protest against the closure.

They said the closure of outdoor public places makes it harder for people to socialise outside as per the current public health guidelines.

This evening, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said he understands the concerns.

"I think it is not unreasonable at all to close down a residential area where people are living their lives if they are having to put up with hundreds or thousands of people coming into that area at the weekend and urinating and defecating and leaving rubbish behind," said Dr Glynn.

"That seems to me like a very reasonable thing to do to protect the residents in the area regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not."

Cóilín O'Reilly, Office of City Recovery in Dublin City Council, said that policing people at the plaza take "huge" resources from An Garda Síochána.

"We felt with regret that this was the only decision left open to us. From our point of view, this is for this weekend and we are going to review on Monday and see where we can go going forward and see how it works this weekend," said Mr O'Reilly.

"We provide hundreds of public places - parks, plazas - all over the city that people partake in really positive social activities in and we don't have to intervene because people behave themselves very well."

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